people's choice

The Best Kids’ Climbers on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers

Photo: Courtesy of the retailer

Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed products and single out the most convincing ones. (You can learn more about our rating system and how we pick each item here.)

While we’ve written about kids’ toys before — like dollhouses, kitchen sets, and gifts for babies and kids of all ages — here we’ve rounded up the best indoor and outdoor climbers, as praised by the most enthusiastic reviewers on Amazon.

Best-rated kids’ climber

Lifetime Geometric Dome Climber Jungle Gym

This 5-foot-tall, 10-foot-wide jungle gym climber provides kids of all ages with hours of outdoor fun. Reviewers call it a “wonderful backyard amusement,” and one parent writes, “Our house has now become the neighborhood hangout and all the kids want to come over to play on it, making our kids happy.” Kids find it “fun to find new ways to climb and swing from the bars,” and parents love that “it gives them much-needed exercise and upper-body strength just by playing on it.”

The only downside for some reviewers is that assembling the climber can be frustrating and time-consuming. “It definitely was not the easiest thing in the world, but if you follow the instructions, it goes pretty smoothly,” says one reviewer. Another agrees that while the setup is challenging, “in the end it really does come together quite nicely and looks great.” Once built, the jungle gym is impressively durable. One reviewer writes, “We’ve owned this three years now. It’s survived hurricanes, the extreme heat of Florida, and excessive amounts of rain, and it still looks brand-new!”

Best-rated (less expensive) kids’ climber

Little Tikes Hide and Seek Climber

Appropriate for indoor and outdoor use — and for kids as young as 1 — this climber and slide set is, as one reviewer says, “perfect for little ones who are ready to explore.” Others agree that it’s “a great purchase to help your toddler have some fun and burn off some energy,” and a grandparent raves, “I think that this is probably the favorite purchase that I have made for my grandson so far. I would recommend this to anyone who wants a safe climber for their child.” The compact size is also a pro according to one reviewer who says, “It is big enough that [my niece] doesn’t easily get bored, but small enough that it doesn’t take up half of my yard!”

And now for some micro-picks for every type of kids’ climber you might be looking for.

Best kids’ climber with a monkey-bar top

Eezy Peezy Monkey Bars Climbing Tower

Since it’s slightly smaller than our best-rated option, reviewers like that this climber can be used either inside the house or out in the yard, and kids love it. “I never once needed to encourage ‘em,” says one parent, “they took to this like little lemurs, scampering around it, flipping, leaping, you name it.” Other parents like that it “helps the kids burn energy throughout the day,” and encourages them to “play imaginative games.” The construction is also solid, with reviewers noting that it’s “sturdy and well-made,” and “completely secure … we aren’t concerned at all about it collapsing.”

Best kids’ climber with a slide

Step2 Panda Climber

Another indoor/outdoor option, this climber is a hit, especially among toddlers. One reviewer says, “We got this for our active kiddo for his first birthday and WOW, he loves it!” Another adds, “It is the perfect size for indoor situations and is the perfect alternative to having an active tot climb the walls, tables, [and] stairs all winter.” According to reviewers, it’s also “reasonably easy to put together [and] very sturdy — it does not wobble at all, even with vigorous play.” It’s also durable enough to keep outdoors: “I have had this for almost two years now. It is fabulous. It sits outside all winter here [and] doesn’t look one bit faded.”

Best sports-themed kids’ climber with a slide

Step2 Game Time Sports Climber And Slide

Reviewers say this climber with a built-in basketball hoop is “great for toddlers,” and good for siblings or friends “to play together and practice sharing, taking turns, and mastering new skills.” And while parents like that it’s “easy to clean and wash” and “easy to put together,” kids just love playing on it. “[My] 1-year-old just can’t get enough,” says one reviewer. “He is always sliding or just climbing to the top to stand and yell.” A proud grandparent writes, “My grandson loves his climber [and] all his friends had fun playing on it at his birthday party.”

Best kids’ climber with swings

Step2 Naturally Playful Playhouse Climber & Swing Set Extension

Once parents figure out the vague assembly instructions (“Think of Ikea. Almost no words,” one writes) for this climber and swing set, it often ends up being a backyard favorite. One reviewer writes, “We just bought this for my daughter’s 3rd birthday and she loves it! We had it out before her party and when all her toddler friends came over, they all loved it, too! It is very durable and sturdy and will be easy to clean.” Many note that it’s “well-made and anchors well into the ground,” and is a safe pick since kids “can swing as high as they like without us worrying about it tipping over.” With lots of ways to play, it’s like an at-home playground — as one parent writes, “the best part is we don’t have to haul off to the park, we can just hang out in the backyard.”

Best mountain-themed kids’ climber

Step2 Skyward Summit

Reviewers strongly recommend this backyard climbing mountain, despite its higher price tag. “This thing is pretty large and offers a lot of good activity for kids like mine with endless energy,” writes one parent. “It’s good for physical development and also mental! He finds different ways to get up and down and can use his imagination to pretend he is climbing large mountains or a castle!” Others agree, writing, “This is a wonderful product that is perfect for our small backyard and allows my girls to have fun and exercise everyday,” and, “Our four children and their friends still use it very often and it is the first thing they run to when they get off the school bus in nice weather.” Since it’ll last for years, it’s definitely worth the investment. One family has kept it outside for five years and loves that “it has shown no evidence of wear or fading and still looks just as it did when we bought it.”

Best kids’ climber with a 1,000-pound capacity

Easy Outdoor Space Dome Climber

Stable enough to support several kids (and adults, as reviewers note: “It is very rugged, as I have climbed on it with the grandkids;” “[It] has even held my husband’s weight without a groan or flex”), this climber gets praise for being “very sturdy” and “solid as a rock.” It also stands up to years of play, making it well worth the cost. “We live in the hot desert and it has held up for over two years now with no fading,” writes one reviewer, and another adds, “Our climber is six years old and still going strong. Numerous kids and adults have climbed on it, jumped off it, and made forts out it.”

Best climber for babies

Milliard Soft Foam Toddler Stairs and Ramp Climber Gym

Little ones who aren’t yet walking can still enjoy a climber with this soft, petite version. “I bought this for my daughter (11 months) because she likes to climb,” writes one reviewer. “It’s sturdy, good quality, good size (not too big or small), and easy to clean.” That last part is important for many reviewers, including one who notes that “there are also zippers to remove the covers, should they need to be washed.” Another reviewer, who bought one for her nephew, writes, “I like how this is a soft material, and low enough that he would have to try pretty hard to hurt himself on it.”

Best 5-piece climber for babies

Constructive Playthings Toys 5-Pc. Lightweight Vinyl Soft Play Forms

With five shapes that can be configured in different ways to mix up playtime, this climber offers babies and toddlers lots of options to explore. “My son plays with them every single day in some way,” writes one parent. “He climbs on them, stacks them, builds things with them.” Another writes, “My kids have done just about everything to these blocks, including kicking, punching, jumping. The only sign that they are not brand-new are the pen marks my daughter put on one of them.” Parents like that they’re “great for creative play and very sturdy.” And they’re worth the high price tag, one reviewer says, “once you see how many different ways the kids will play with them, and how many years they will play with them.”

Best neutral-colored climber for babies

ECR4Kids SoftZone Climb and Crawl Foam Play Set

Like the climber set above, this one is a favorite among reviewers for how versatile it is. “My son loves to climb on these,” writes one parent. “You can arrange them in all different ways for endless play possibilities.” Plus, it’s available in a more sophisticated color palette. “The colors of green, blue, and gray are pretty great in comparison to the typical baby bright colors,” writes one reviewer. Another says, “I was looking for something a little more ‘Montessori’ without all the unnecessary bright colors,” and was happy to find these.

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The Best Kids’ Climbers on Amazon, According to Reviewers